I Don’t Think That’s What They Meant

I’ve always known that reading to my kids was good for them.

Expanding their horizons, showing them different worlds, different people, cultures, ideas, crammed in the pages of a bound book.

And there are books on all sorts of topics for kids now.

Books just for the pleasure of reading an entertaining story, books for education.

There are books for potty-training, for bed-time, for learning to deal with siblings, leaning to cope with the death of a pet, learning how to be better at this or that, for learning everything from alphabets to zydeco music playing.

I know that reading – reading almost anything – broadens anyone’s mind, not just a child’s.

But – the other night, I added a twist.

OnlySon is 16.  And he and I both understand that he’s far more esoterically knowledgeable than most people think.  We talk to each other in a manner most wouldn’t expect a parent to talk to a 16 yr. old.

I talk to him more as I would another adult.  Well, at least, another adult who just so happens to be my 16 yr. old child.  There are still some subjects we both agree are not appropriate, not – ugh – comfortable for either of us.  And our agreement works.

He can handle it – and he respects me for respecting that about him.

So, the other night, I was reading a new book I’d picked up at the book store – Augusten Burrough’s “Magical Thinking”.

It’s a hilarious set of stories about things that have happened to him in his own life.  And he freely admits that he’s “emotionally damaged goods”, so, even while I can feel bad about the fucked up things he’s had to experience growing up, and since, I can laugh along with him as he laughs at himself.

I sat and chuckled, snickered, and gut-busted laughed for 2 hours straight after bringing this home and immediately sitting down to enjoy it.

Of course, OnlySon had to know what was so funny.

So – I read a chapter – out loud – to him.

All about how Augusten had found a “rat/thing” in his bathroom, and proceeded to destroy it, then to go on to practically destroy his bathroom in order to rid himself of the taint of the rat/thing’s infestation of his life.

It’s funnier in the book.

And, after hearing the story, my son proceeded to tell me about a story he’d read – about a man who’d chugged half a soda, only to find a ground up frog in the can…..

The things we do to one another for the sake of a good story. *urp*

Later than night, I was standing in the bathroom, contemplating the meaning of life (brushing my teeth, actually, but close enough), when I heard EldestDaughter downstairs.  The cadence and rhythm of her voice told me she was reading a new story to the ToddlerTornado.

And I was struck by the coincidence, and the slight difference of the subject matter we’d each chosen to read to our sons.

At least… well, leaning out of the bathroom, I was pretty sure my new book was still sitting by my chair.

I don’t think that’s what they meant when the “experts” said “Read to Your Children”.

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Additions and Subtractions

There have been a lot of additions and subtractions in my life lately.

Some positive, some… not so much.

But, I have to deal with all of them, get through them.  I must celebrate the good, and grieve for the bad.

The Good News:

I started OnlySon on blogging this last week.  He has been writing short, flash fiction for a little while now, and enjoys putting stories down.  I’ve read some of his stuff, and he has a promising future as a fiction writer.  He’s gifted in his storytelling, and can pull a reader in with the emotional and descriptive things he writes.  It’s all a little twisted and somewhat on the darker side, but – who am I to speak to that?  After all, I write a lot of monster stories, myself!

When we first set up his blog, he was sort of “meh” about it, nonchalant and noncommittal.  But… after he posted his first piece of flash fiction, he got a couple of almost instantaneous “likes” and was strutting like a fluffed-up peacock with pride.  He turned to me and said “You know, this IS going to go to my head.”

I said “Good, it should.  You need to know that other people enjoy your stories as much as I do.  You’re good at this.”

I want him to know that he has a definite talent, instead of always being told he’s not “good enough”, or “smart enough”.  He has a tough time in school, sometimes, and I know that his self-esteem isn’t always at the top end.  So this positive feedback from relative strangers is massively good for him.

Yes, there are things he could work on, and I’ve told him that I will help him with editing anytime he wants, but that I will NOT restrain him from writing whatever he wants.  This is HIS outlet, and I won’t squash that.

The Bad News:

I am on my own again.  There was a man I was in a relationship with, long distance, but I could handle that.  He hurt me emotionally, and I don’t know if there’s a glue that can fix that..

So.

I am left to find my own way once more.

It hurts – immensely.  I’ve cared about him for a long time, and was really hoping it would become something more.  But you can’t change the weather, you can’t fix someone else’s problems for them, and you can’t change their mind when they refuse to talk to you, hear you, or give you a chance to prove them wrong.

I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life.  I want someone I can share my life with, that I can share his too.  I want someone who will touch me like he means it, who will be there through the happy and the sad.  I want a partner I can stand beside and walk through life with.

I want someone who is not going to disappear on me, as others have.

I am an eternal romantic optimist, but this is a blow.  And it will take time to trust anyone else enough to believe that they won’t simply take off.

Additions and Subtractions.

And me, with my allergy to math.

math

Flash Fiction Friday ~ Only Son’s Guest Fiction

Only Son has agreed to write a Flash Fiction for me today, and here it is!  I hope you enjoy, cuz I think the kid’s got a lot of talent!

Deception of love

I feel so alone in this world.

There is no one here who I live for, no one that I truly love and no one to meet said love with equal passion.  The only way I truly get by in this world, what with its cruel inhabitants and harshness towards the innocent, is by painting my feelings upon an empty canvas.

Just me, my brush, and an empty canvas.

Needless to say, I do not have a spouse or anything of the sort.  I do have friends, granted very few, and none that I would consider too close to my own heart to call a “best friend”.  I do not leave my sanctuary very often, for I am not the most sociable of types.  Today as I am sitting on my stool, contemplating what I shall paint, I have a sudden stroke of inspiration.  And as such, I pour out everything I feel within my soul onto the canvas with deadly concentration, unbreakable by even the noisiest of distractions.  As I finished, I felt a deep warmth in my heart, nay, my very soul.

All I can describe it as is… beauty unmatched by anything in this world.

My beautiful Leia.  I could feel love that I have never felt before cascade out upon the sight of her.

Her deep green eyes…

Her golden flowing hair…

I was truly, inescapably in love.  And yet, others did not see her in the same light.

“She’s just a painting!”

“How can you love a woman who isn’t even real?”

My so-called “friends” laughed at me as they heard who the object of my affection was.

Each laugh hurt, like the pain of a million daggers in my soul.

But I do not need them, all I needed was my dear Leia.  Yet, even I began to have my doubts.  I would not say she is not real, for one of such beautiful heart and soul had to be real.  So, I drew up but one conclusion.

She must be an angel!  That’s it. It simply must be!  And, oh, I could feel the need, nearly pouring from the painting.  She needed me, and I needed her.  So I did simply what had to be done.  The dagger was more than happy to find a new sheath, due to its lack of usage.  I wrote only one letter, and as such it said, “bury me with my Leia”.  As drops of blood steadily found their way to the paper, I turned to my thoughts, hoping she may hear me.

Leia, my darling… I await your embrace with open arms and open heart.

friday flash

Old Yarns, and a New Thing!

Yeah, it’s late.  12:53 AM, to be precise.  But I wanted to post this before it toppled out the back of my head and was lost forever.

I have multiple flash fiction stories that I wrote on here, and on the other blogs I’ve had in the past… and I’m going to re-post them here again.

I’m actually missing the 1st year of posts on here, since I started posting in 2009… ah well.  No crying over the spilt water under the bridge.

I’ll post the flash fiction that I have in my laptop’s archives, and have done with it.

ALSO,

I’m happy to report… I’ve convinced OnlySon to be a guest blogger next Friday to write the Friday Flash Fiction!  So, stay tuned.  I’m not allowed to edit anything, mom, unless he changes his mind between here and then – at least maybe the grammar and spelling?

Please?  Maybe?

*crossing fingers*

So, stay put – I can’t wait to see what he comes up with!

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The Quiet One

OnlySon is now 16, and proud of the fact that he’s taller than all the women in his life.OnlySon

Brat.

He’s smart, hilariously funny, and a seriously talented writer.  He wrote a short story for school last year, that stunned me with its intensity and intelligence.  Not that I don’t know the kid’s smart, but that I didn’t know he had that kind of story in him to write!

My son – also likes games.  Online, virtual, xbox, playstation and wii – he delves into these virtual worlds, and masters them.  Oh yeah, there have been plenty of “rage quits” as he calls them *snickering to myself as I write*, but he always goes back, doggedly, until he fixes the problem, solves the puzzle, or defeats the Boss monster.

And yet…

The school says that he is “lacking”.

Because he doesn’t like crowds.

He doesn’t have tons of friends.

He isn’t a “joiner” or much of a “team player”.

And?dare-to-be-different

Does my smart, funny, talented boy have to be a conformist to make it in this world?

Since when has a conformist STOOD OUT or MADE A STATEMENT?

It’s not in the sheep’s nature to veer off from the herd and be different…

And OnlySon is not a sheep.

I refuse to let the “professionals” pigeonhole my son into a category where he does not belong.

My son will break molds, forge his own paths, and he will NOT conform.

And I don’t have a problem with that.

Personally, I’ve always felt that to be normal – is to be boring.  Everyone has something about them that makes them unique, one of a kind, and they should celebrate that – not hide it.

I, too, am a purple alligator in a world full of sheep.

And there’s not a DAMNTHING wrong with that.

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Luck of the Irish

OnlySon broke his arm a few weeks ago.

While out walking our dog, Jack, he decided to run across a busy street to try to beat a motorcycle that was headed his way, slipped on some gravel, and slammed his left forearm into a curb, snapping the radius, and also causing a small “greenstick” break in the ulna. 

In other words, thoroughly messing up his left arm for the summer.

He’s been in a cast now for the last few weeks, and today is our last x-ray to decide whether or not the doctor wants him to have surgery to straighten it out, or let it heal, slightly crooked.  The doc assured me that when a child breaks a bone like this, often times they will heal better if they just let it grow back together at a small bent angle, than to do major surgery and try to correct something that won’t make much difference in the end.

But.

OnlySon and I went in for his x-ray appointment last week, and the doc wasn’t entirely happy with the way the films looked. 

Crap.

So, today, we find out whether OnlySon has to go under the knife, and ends up with his whole summer bound up in plaster.

Luckily, OnlySon is part Irish, on his father’s side.  He’s a lucky kid most of the time, as witnessed by the fact that whenever I take him out somewhere – grocery store, restaurants, parks, etc… he finds money on the floor.  No kidding.  He found a $20 bill on the ground once at a park here in town.  Just randomly laying on the ground.  The kid’s got it, whatever it is.

So here’s hoping the Luck o’ the Irish is with him, and me, today. 

Official update:  NO SURGERY REQUIRED!!  Found out yesterday afternoon that OnlySon is a mutant self-healer lucky-charmed kid, and is healing faster than the doctor expected. 

In 2 weeks, we go back, they’ll take the current cast off, and x-ray again.  If everything looks good then… OnlySon can finally have his summer!

Countdown to Blastoff

I have 1 week in which to prepare for the high school graduation of YoungerDaughter.

Gah.

My internet connection at home has been spotty – at best.  The modem is dying, and has begun its last gasps of hot, tainted air.  The cable company told me they’d be out “somewhere between 8am and 5pm”.   So… that means Tuesday, the 12th of never, right?

A couple of days ago, my youngest child, OnlySon – broke his left arm.  Both bones.

The one on the bottom, is a 50% displacement fracture (according to the orthopedic doctor).

The top one, the ulna, is a slight “greenstick” break, near his wrist.  It just shows up on the x-ray as a “fuzzy line” (official radiology terminology, I assure you.) 

This x-ray was taken after they casted his arm.  Nope, they don’t re-set the bones on kids for this type of break.  Surprised me too.  There’s a long, complicated reason, the doctor explained and assured me about.  However, if the bones shift any more within the next 3 weeks, OnlySon may have to have pins and plates surgically inserted into his arm to correct this. 

Yay.

To top it off, he has to wear his new appendage accessory for at least 6 weeks, with a possibility of a separate, shorter cast for another 3 weeks after that – depending on how it heals.

He was overjoyed at this pronouncement.

So, this means no swimming. For the whole summer.  Or at least, most of it.

The one physical activity that OnlySon really gets into, and he isn’t going to be able to even splash around in a baby pool.

Last summer, we had most of our city flooded, including the public pool.

No swimming last year.

No swimming this year.

This also happened to occur 10 days before the end of his school year.

He had to stay out for the last 2 days, due to pain, and the effects of the pain medication the doctor put him on. 

The end of this school year is looming over all of our heads like a vicious, man-eating hydra, snarling, dripping and horrible.

See, with the dripping?

And every time you take care of one problem, cut off one of the heads – 2 more sprout and take its place.

Gotta love that Greek mythology.

So, I’m making lists, checking them – not twice, I’m not Santa Claus – but constantly, throughout the day, everyday.

Planning, re-planning, re-drawing my battle plans and lists.

Counting down to blastoff.

Graduation Day.

Where the hell are my cap and gown?

I should be graduating with honors for my multitasking abilities and for keeping my sanity.

That is – if I still have it at the end of next week.